Divine Revelation

A blog with an Islamic perspective


Islam is not merely a creed of ritual worship and social customs. It is a complete code of conduct or way of life that guides man and helps establish systems that guarantee success both in this world and the hereafter.The Quran repeatedly exhorts the believers to establish Salat (prayer) and pay Zakat (poor due).
The Quran says in Chapter 22:41

Translation:(They are) those who if We establish them in the land establish regular prayer and give regular charity enjoin the right and forbid wrong: with Allah rests the end (and decision) of (all) affairs

The command is Aqimus Sala i.e. establish prayer which means that Salat is not merely to be offered , but it has to be established. Praying individually is not the norm and one has to pray in congregation. This means that prayer goes beyond the confines of invidual practice and becomes a responsibility of the Islamic state(&/or Muslim community). To establish the salat it is incumbent to organize mosques (their construction, maintenance, expansion, land acquisition), Imams (who lead prayer),Khutbe-Juma (Friday sermons) etc Most of the Muslim countries there is a department or ministry of Awqaf (religious affairs) assigned to do this job.

Similarly zakat is not merely to be paid but has to be established. Amongst the beneficiaries of zakat are the zakat collectors (aamileen e zakat) themselves clearly proving that zakat is not merely an individual deed but a collective function and a state responsibility.

The benefiaries are citied in Chapter 9:60

Translation Alms are for the poor and the needy and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of Allah; and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by Allah and Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.

To establish the system of zakat, the Islamic state or the Muslim community must collect zakat from the eligible and maintain a zakat fund. After collection it must be distributed to those who qualify as defined by Quran. The collection and distribution should be completely transparent and regularly audited.

Muslims are quite good at establishing Salat, but are lagging behind in the duty for ati uz zaka (paying zakat). Most of them give zakat individually to the needy or poor relatives, as this is indeed the correct thing to do in the absence of collective and organized system of zakat. But just as one cannot be satisfied to pray individually and one should try to establish congregational prayer, similarly if there is no collective system of zakat collection then one must try to establish it or give zakat to people who have established the collective system (centralized collection and distribution) of zakat. This was the system in the era of the Prophet and his successors (the four rightly guided caliphs) and it continued to be a function of Muslim governments until the fall of Ottoman Empire. We need to revive it.

So the message or bottom-line is that one must always give priority to pay zakat to the Muslim state or those who have established a collective system of zakat.Paying zakat individually is similar to praying without congregation and is simply unacceptable in the long run.

Zakat information 1 2

Examples of zakat fund in Muslim countries 1 2

Zakat easy Calculator

Good news a step in the right direction

Posted by Arshad on Thursday, September 28, 2006.

8 Responses to “Collecting Zakat”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Masha'Allah brother Arshad. Your blog is very informative and interesting (I liked the Q&A about the Pope as well, it broke information down for the readers) as well as your intention to motivate others to pay their zakaah. May Allah Ta'ala bless you with tawfiq and accept it from you. Was'salaam  

  2. # Blogger Mohamad

    As salamualikum

    In another tradition the Prophet (S) is reported to have told: “The son of Adam has basic rights for three things a house to live in, a piece of cloth to cover his body, a loaf of bread and water”.[26]

    If i were a king,or ruler and colecting zakat?
    It is our duty to foloow islamic teachings and sunna of our holy prophet (s.a.w).
    http://smma59.wordpress.com
    wassalam  

  3. # Blogger Soul Scripture

    SubhanAllah...
    Please also see my post on zakah on my blog:

    http://soul-scripture.blogspot.com/2006/09/ramadhan-1427-4-zakat-and-sadaqah.html

    JazakhumAllah khairun.  

  4. # Blogger Arshad

    Jazakallah Khairum for the generous and encouraging comments May Allah guide us all  

  5. # Blogger Bilal

    Slmz

    Lovely blog- May God reward you for your efforts...

    South African Muslims have also managed to get the Zakaah institutions very organised and productive- see SANZAF.

    The students recently did a Ramadaan project with them and Islamic Relief- it was a great success...  

  6. # Blogger rama

    Hullo! Thank you for inviting me to your blog. I am glad to know of your efforts to spread awareness about the real tenets of Islam through your blog.

    I appreciate your points about Zakaat, and the need for institutionalising this. But I think that should NOT be the task of the state. The civil society must take up this role, and fulfill it to perfection.

    If all the Zakaat given in India is actually put to meaningful use for the benefit of poor Muslims in India - much could be achieved. Sadly, that's not the case. A good part of the money is poorly utilised - like feeding the poor, instead of helping them to stand on their own feet, with dignity. Another part is simply misappropriated.

    I am hopeful that in time, enlightened Muslims in India will start addressing such problems.

    I look forward to visiting your site, to learn about the Islamic point of view.

    Best

    rama  

  7. # Blogger Arshad

    Thanks a lot Rama for your comments. We must promote mutual dialogue and understanding and help each other make this world a better place  

  8. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Subhanallah an interesting blog, speaking about the zakat topic, why dont you mention the quranic ayah which states the punishment of those who hoard their money and not give to the needy?

    Allah says in the Qur'an:
    "And there are those who hoard gold and silver and do not spend it in the way of Allah, announce to them a most grievous penalty (when) on the Day of Judgment heat will be produced out of that wealth in the fire of Hell. Then with it they will be branded on their forehead and their flanks and backs. (It will be said to them) This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves, taste then the treasure that you have been hoarding." (Qur'an 9:34-35)  

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